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Flat and Ned Islands

Boasting exceptional views of Mount Desert Island and the Schoodic Peninsula, these two islands in Frenchman Bay offer many attractive picnic destinations.

Ned Island, Winter Harbor

Ned Island, Winter Harbor

Flat and Ned Islands are great for:

Paddling – Launch your kayak or hand-carry boat and paddle open ocean to reach either of these two reasonably accessible islands, especially on calm days.

Wildlife Observation – Don’t let the lack of trails deter you. Flat offers open terrain to explore with opportunities to spot wildlife in all directions.

How to get there

Handy-carry boat access is available from Frazier Point, located in the Schoodic Section of Acadia National Park. The nearest public trailered boat launch is in the village of Winter Harbor. Please note that the boat ramp is tide dependent and can only be accessed at high tide. However, the lack of a shelter favors access on calmer days. With caution, a small boat may beach on the eastern shore of Flat Island. Beware of strong surge and numerous submerged rocks. Landing on Ned Island is limited to the small cobble beach on the northwest shore.

Get directions from Google Maps Printable preserve map (417KB PDF)

For a complete map with legend and guidelines, click on the Printable Preserve Map above.

Notes on topography, flora, and fauna

These two island preserves lie just west of Grindstone Neck in the town of Winter Harbor. Aptly named Flat Island is 1.5 acres. Devoid of trees, the island’s polished cobblestones are covered in rugosa rose, beach pea, hairy gooseberry, and poison ivy (beware!). Ned Island, its larger neighbor to the southeast, features a more varied landscape and extensive tree cover. This 11.5-acre island preserve includes a cobble beach to the north, rocky intertidal areas, surge channels, and cliffs descending steeply from a central hill. 

An island family’s plight

While the history of Flat Island is sparse, records of human activity on Ned Island go back to the late 1800s, when it was owned by James Wright, keeper of the lighthouse on nearby Mark Island. Wright’s daughter Julia and her husband Charles lived on the island until 1882, when Charles died trying to land on the island during a storm. The remains of what is believed to have been their house and well are still located on the northern end of the island. 

How Flat and Ned Islands became open to the public

Both islands were donated to MCHT in 2009.

Preserve information/guidelines

  • Daytime Use Only
  • Fires By Permit Only - Maine State Law
    • Contact Maine Forest Service at 1-800-750-9777 for permit
    • Keep All Fires Below High Tide Line – Do Not Build Fire Rings
    • Do Not Cut or Break Tree Limbs, Dead or Alive